Welcome to Blogmas Day 5! Today I thought I would open up a discussion: to tell your children the truth about Santa or not? What would you do? It may be controversial but really, no answer is right or wrong. I’m going to reveal my thoughts on this topic below and why. I hope you enjoy!
When I was a child, my parents didn’t tell me about Santa. When I asked if he was real, I was told that he was. When I was around 8-9 years old, I found out at school that it was all fake. I pretended I knew to fit in, but really I was a bit disappointed. It was at that moment I realised magic was just made-up. That the ‘Santa’ I thought was coming down our chimney at midnight, was really just my father waiting till we were asleep to lay out the presents under the Christmas tree. There were no Santa’s elves, no flying reindeer, no magical workshop at the North Pole and certainly no mythical man watching to see if I had been naughty or nice that year. It sounds dramatic, but once I found out the truth, I felt more grown-up. The next Christmas, I snorted when my parents talked about Santa. “I know he’s not real,’ I scoffed. ‘Believing in Santa is for babies.”
Some parents believe in a straight-up approach. They don’t ever want to lie to their children, so from the beginning, they are told the truth. One psychologist argued that it is wrong to tell children that Santa will bring them presents when poor families cannot afford anything. Another said that we lie to children enough. Other parents wish to keep the magic alive for their children. Yes in essence they are lying, but it is a lie with good intentions. It is a lie that is mainly accepted worldwide. I definitely see both sides. I never resented my parents for lying to me. They wanted me to enjoy Christmas as an innocent child. They wanted me to believe in the magic of Santa. I was too young to be so cynical and serious. Having said that, I plan to approach things differently as a parent…
I want Abigail to understand that magic doesn’t mean something fantastical. Magic can be found in the everyday. A feeling can be magical. Witnessing nature in all it’s glory can be magical. Even though I’m 30, I still view Christmas as a magical time of year. It can be appreciated by children and adults alike. I don’t want to bribe Abigail with sentences like: “if you aren’t good, Santa won’t bring you anything.” That just doesn’t feel right to me. I would rather tell her that Santa is a character in history. In different cultures, he has different names. Some children are told that he brings them presents on midnight. Some are told that he flies through the sky in his big, red sleigh driven by enchanted reindeer. But if she asks me: “is Santa real mummy?”, I’m still not sure what I would tell her. I would like to believe that if I was honest from the beginning, she could still get swept up in the spirit of Christmas. She could still delight in getting her picture with Santa just like she would getting a picture with a character at Disneyland. I want to find a way to redirect the magic. I would rather educate her on the myth of Santa and all the different ways she can get involved in making the most of the holiday season. I really want her to focus less on getting presents and more on what matters most: being together with family and giving back to our community.
Just a side-note: reading this article has given me food for thought. It states that Christmas can still be so fun and enjoyable for children, even if they know the truth.
There is a big emphasis on consumerism and spending during Christmas. Yes, it is nice to receive gifts, but that is by far my least favourite thing about this time of year. Abigail will celebrate Christmas Eve the way my family does every year. We all open our gifts at midnight. On Christmas morning, she will be given gifts to open, but I am leaning towards her knowing that they are from her parents. After all, we did the hard work, not Santa. Why should he get all the credit?! If she did know the truth, I would ensure she respected the wishes of other children and allowed them to maintain the fantasy. I want her not to look forward to Christmas every year because she will obtain material goods, but rather because it’s an opportunity to create memories with her family. After all, when I look back, I don’t remember that toy I got, I remember the laughter and togetherness. However, I’m still not 100% sure and that’s why I’m opening up the discussion.
Let me know what you think down below. Please be respectful. As I said at the beginning, there is no right or wrong answer. It is just a personal, parenting choice. Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow.
Peace & Love xoxo